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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Southern Virginia
    Posts
    31

    Default How many spare boxes/frames do you keep around?

    First year beek here, and I bought both my packages two deeps and one honey super (all with frames) for them to use in time.

    After reading, it seems that lots of beeks keep spare equipment around in the event they have to do a split or find a swarm....

    I am fortunate to have a bee supply store in my town, but getting equipment on the drop of a dime would still require getting off work, driving out, build time, etc.

    What, if anything, should I have on hand aside from what I previously mentioned?
    Nothing good happens fast.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    3,143

    Default Re: How many spare boxes/frames do you keep around?

    I tend to keep double of what I have running. For example, if I have ten hives up and running in the spring (overwintered) I will have ten complete hives as back up for splits, swarms, whatever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    richland center, wisconsin USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: How many spare boxes/frames do you keep around?

    Double up

    Tis better to have and not need than need and not have.
    "Anytime you see someone more successful than you are, they are doing something you aren't."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    29,749

    Default Re: How many spare boxes/frames do you keep around?

    How many? Some times not enough.

    When I bought hives, years ago, they came as a bottom board, two deeps, three shallow supers, an inner cover, and a telescoping cover. Having three honey supers means you can extract fully capped combs and get them back on for refilling while one or two supers are still on the hive.

    Nowadays I have about 4 or 5 supers, shallows and mediums, per hive.
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    964

    Default Re: How many spare boxes/frames do you keep around?

    Like Mark said, usually not enough! Last year I was building hives as the swarms were settling in the trees! Right now I have seven complete hives with frames ready for anything. They are the result of all that building last year plus converting from 10 frame to 8 frame. I haven't cut down the 10 frame stuff to make it 8 frame yet.
    Short answer: have at least one complete hive assembled, painted, and ready to fill with bees because you never know when a swarm will drop out of the sky.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,962

    Default Re: How many spare boxes/frames do you keep around?

    I keep 3x more bee equipment than what I need in any given day.
    The reason is I raise the queen bees. So must have more that are ready to
    go in the mating nucs when needed. 30 frames on standby and 8 deep hive boxes all
    ready to go. I can always build more if needed from the raw materials in storage.
    I luv bee source!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    924

    Default Re: How many spare boxes/frames do you keep around?

    Quote Originally Posted by phyber View Post
    First year beek here, and I bought both my packages two deeps and one honey super (all with frames) for them to use in time.
    I would have at least 2 more supers for each hive if they are mediums. I would have 4 more if they were the narrow supers.

    And yea, have at least one complete hive sitting around. Like everyone above said (and they got more experience) building with a hive about to swarm is not a good situation.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 2 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: How many spare boxes/frames do you keep around?

    Learn to build some of your own stuff to keep costs down. The best investment of all is a table saw. Learn to cut corners too. You may want a fancy bottom board, but if you have to you can use unprepared plywood for bottom and top, foundationless frames, make your own boxes (I can make about 3 medium boxes out of 2 by 8s by the time I drive out to a bee supply place and back). And mine has a funny habit of running out of stuff when you need it.

    I have enough stuff for my wildly optimist expansion plans this summer, and twice as many boxes and frames that I think I will need for my established colonies. I still will be building lots this summer/fall as I have to think about next year already.

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